Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish newspaper)
Critic: Tove Bengtsson)
Rating: 5 of 6
Director Fredrik Egerstrand och Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm
DoP Conny Fridh, Fredrik Egerstrand
Editor Björn Lindgren
Participants: Laleh Pourkarim, Benny Andersson, Jens Stoltenberg
This is a personal rather than a classic biographical documentary. Here, it is foremost Laleh´s voice that is heard. Her voice-over accompanies virtually every scene, and if it falls silent, it is for the benefit of Laleh´s music - several pieces of music are also written especially for the film.
One by one they presented some of her most famous songs in a stripped-down manner, with a simple guitar or piano accompaniment, and then they grow into in greater performances, in orchestrations and concerts. It is touching to hear Laleh tell about how she felt when she created "Some Die Young" and how the song got it´s own lives in Norway after the Utøya massacre . These sequences have been elegantly cut together in an increasing manner in which images reflect the musical creation process.
But perhaps the main proceeds of ”NOT READY TO DIE" is Lalehs reflections on her upbringing and how it shaped her. Her parents fled as political refugees from Iran, into the Soviet Union and finally came to Hammarkullen in Gothenburg. Especially relatable Laleh becomes when she talks about the close relationship she had with her mother. The film affects you a couple of times, most especially in the context of a brief scene where Laleh get to play with Benny Andersson (former ABBA member) .
It is engaging to follow Laleh´s creative mind - even if the more philosophical pondering is not as interesting as the making of a song or anecdotes from her childhood. But "NOT READY TO DIE" allows the audience to get close to Laleh . That her voice is ever presents, creates an intimate feeling reinforced by many sedate close-ups and slow, meditative shots . It becomes a personal portrait of Laleh that makes me crave for more.
Critic: Tove Bengtsson, Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish newspaper)
As small child Laleh dressed up as princess, to await the rescuing prince. Then my mother said; "No Laleh, it is you who is the prince, you liberate yourself." Laleh followed her mother's advice and trough out her career she has taken care of the whole process her self. She is one of the few how's both a songwriter, producer and performer.
Houshang & Atefe Pour Karim had lived underground for three years in Iran when their daughter Laleh was born. They went into exile and exodus took the family through the Soviet Union and Germany, to Sweden. Laleh grew up in Hammarkullen, Gothenburg and the rest is history. Laleh, Sweden's biggest female artist talks candidly about life and death, about the music and her career.
About being a girl in a male-dominated profession. And about coming to Sweden as a refugee, and about her parents' death. And if the gift she got from them and the responsibility to manage it. Her life and her freedom.
NOT READY TO DIE, is a film when the film crew followed Laleh Pour Karim during two years. The film is an attempt to understand the creative process of a creative soul who yet joined death on her journey through out the world and in the music.
The film contains specially written music and intimate musical scenes with Laleh like you've never seen her before. Among other things, an unexpected meeting with Benny Andersson (former ABBA member)
The film is made by Fredrik Egerstrand & Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm whom previously together and each including directed / produced the films; "The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González," "Footballs Last Proletarians" "Riedel! Riedel! Riedel "," Tinariwen sur l'eau "," Bobo Stenson Trio in the swedish woods "and others.
"We started recording with isolating Laleh along with us at 20 square meters in 30 degrees below zero in a secluded mountain cabin in Tjautjas outside Gällivare. Here we could start from scratch together in down jackets and long underwear. We tried to bring a classical Teambuilding. Instead it was a long struggle and something much bigger than that. "
- Fredrik Egerstrand & Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm
"When I make music I can create my own world, time and place, I get to meet the hopes and the heights. But during the filming of this movie, I instead got to recreating reality and meeting myself "
- Laleh Pour Karim
Photo: Gustaf Thörn
Stillframe from the film: DoP Conny Fridh
GP (Swedish newspaper)
Critic: Mats Johanson
Rating: 4 of 5
Director Carl Pontus Hjorten, Martin Jönsson
Producer Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm
DoP Bengt Löfgren, Conny Fridh
Editor Andreas Jonsson
Participants: Inge Schiöler, Tomas Tranströmer, JOhan Cullberg,
Håkan Wettre, Andreas Eriksson, Ann Smith,
Arne Öhnell, Krister Schiöler, INgrid Schiöler,
Per Thorlin m fl.
A mysterious inheritance consisting of pencil drawings on old toilet paper, make the Filmmaker Carl Pontus Hjorten initiate a detective work combined with genealogy. The story, which at first feels a tad strained, wins in the long run thanks to interesting meetings, relevant interviews and unique archival materials.
Together with Martin Jönsson, Hjorten has produced the groundbreaking documentary, Soccer’s Last Proletarians, about IFK Gothenburg (a Swedish soccer team called Blåvitt) who received improbable successes in the 1980s.
In A New Life, the director remains in Gothenburg, but now the focus is on looking towards the 1930s and the Colorist movement. It was a motley crew of poor bohemians who did not say no to a glass or two. The Colorists showed the city and the archipelago in a new way. The pictures were to be regarded as poems, where the colors came to replace words. During that time, their work never provided financial success for the artists. But today, the paintings of the Colorists go for millions at Bukowski (so it is natural to compare them to Vincent van Gogh) .
The film revolves around the talented and inwardly turned Inge Schiöler, born in Strömstad, 1908. During an escapade in Spain, Schiöler began to hear voices in his head. In 1932 he was admitted to St Jörgens mental hospital and subjected to the primitive forms of treatment of that time. His artistic creativity turned into apathy.
However, much later, and against all odds, Schiölers life began to take a new and positive direction. It is about this period, the film, A New Life, is about. Jönsson and Hjort skillfully address the Gothenburg Colourists and Inge Schiöler in particular.
Critic: Mats Johnson, GP (Swedish newspaper)